13 August 2015
LONDON – The World Coal Association (WCA) has today called for governments worldwide to show a genuine commitment to widening the deployment of all low emission technologies, in order to meet global energy needs and make significant cuts in CO2 emissions.
Speaking in response to the call made by President of Kiribati, Anote Tong, in coordination with Greenpeace, for a moratorium on all new coal mines, Benjamin Sporton, the WCA’s Chief Executive, stated: “President Tong highlights the global challenge we face in reducing emissions from our energy use and we appreciate his concerns. However, the most effective way in which we can meet global energy needs and make significant cuts in CO2 emissions is to focus on widening the deployment of all low emission technologies”.
“For many countries, the reality is that the only way they can meet their growing energy needs is through affordable, readily available coal. 1.3 billion people live in energy poverty. 2.7 billion people do not have clean cooking facilities and rely on dung and wood. Coal plays a critical role in bringing affordable, reliable electricity to hundreds of millions of people in developing and emerging economies, particularly across Asia.
“According to the International Energy Agency (IEA) global electricity from coal is expected to grow by around 33% to 2040. Calls for a ban on coal mines will do nothing to reduce this very real demand and, in fact, make it harder for us to meet the two degree target.
“Rather than focusing on how countries choose to meet their energy needs, we should instead focus on meeting these needs as cleanly as possible. For countries reliant on coal, this means utilising high efficiency, low emission (HELE) coal technologies and, in the future, carbon capture and storage (CCS).
“High efficiency low emissions coal technologies provide significant and immediate CO2 reductions and are a key step on the pathway to CCS. Raising the average efficiency of the global coal fleet from the current 33% to 40% would save 2 gigatonnes of CO2 emissions – equivalent to India’s annual CO2 emissions or running the Kyoto Protocol three times over.
“Not only do HELE technologies significantly reduce CO2 emissions, they also all but eliminate other emissions that historically have caused concerns about air quality.
“The coal industry is committed to working with the international community to reduce emissions from coal. The World Coal Association has proposed a global Platform for Accelerating Coal Efficiency (PACE), with a vision to support deployment of the most efficient coal-fired power plant technology possible to enable developing and emerging economies to access the benefits of affordable, reliable electricity from coal while minimising CO2 emissions.
“Calling for a ban on any source of energy will not help us meet the integrated priorities of climate change or widening access to energy. What is needed is a genuine commitment from governments to support all low emission technologies equally – only then will we make meaningful steps towards not only a low emission future but one where we have achieved global access to energy.”
World Coal Association
The World Coal Association is a global industry association formed of major international coal producers and stakeholders. The WCA works to demonstrate and gain acceptance for the fundamental role coal plays in achieving a sustainable and lower carbon energy future. Membership is open to companies and not-for-profit organisations with a stake in the future of coal from anywhere in the world, with member companies represented at Chief Executive or Chairman level. WCA is the global network for the coal industry.
For further information, please contact:
Katie Warrick, Director – Communications
t: +44 (0) 20 7851 0052